Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eye Contact

At our church, one of our traditions is going around shaking hands with one another during one of the congregational songs.  This is a great way to greet people (especially visitors) that you may not have had the opportunity to see before the service.

One thing I've noticed, both in myself and in others, is that we have a tendency to not maintain eye contact while greeting each other.  All too often, while reaching out a hand, the eyes cut out to see "who's next?"  Even though the interaction between you and the other person lasts just a few seconds, I do believe it's important to make that interaction meaningful.  Not looking at the person sends an unconscious signal that they're not as important as the next person in line.  It can also make it seem more like checking off a duty list (gotta get to these 5 people and go to the back to get those 12 people; then go to the other side to get those 7 people over there) than helping to encourage and edify each other.

I'm trying really hard to keep this in mind as I go around greeting people, to look them in the eyeballs and convey a sincere message of "I'm so glad to see you!"

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."  (Romans 14:19)
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  1. This is an important message. I am trying to be more aware of what my words, voice inflection, eyes and "body language" convey to people with whom I'm speaking. I want people to know they are important to me, and sometimes I think I lose sight of that if I'm focusing more on my words and less on the person with whom I am speaking.

    I love the picture you chose for this blog post. I do think, however, if we we stared at church visitors in the same way this lemur is staring, the visitors would think we were crazed rather than welcoming!! :).

  2. True!

    I couldn't find a good human eyes picture, but I like this because it adds some levity and interest.

  3. I agree! I struggle with this because of trying to watch my children, and also because I'm braced for some cutting remark by the one whose hand I'm shaking. I need to do better! Thanks for sharing! :)